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Oliver in the News


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  • The title was changed to Oliver in the News

From your link -

There are companies out there with quality on their minds. Oliver, a producer of fiberglass trailers, is one of them. These campers are far more expensive than many of the fiberglass trailers I’ve written about, but they’re also several steps above in build quality than most trailers. I toured a couple of Olivers at the 2024 Florida RV SuperShow and left feeling like these were the fiberglass trailer equivalent of an ’80s Mercedes.

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2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

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Neat article, thanks for posting. Our local dealer Bumgarner Camping Center has (2) 2024 LE2’s listed for $106k marked down to $95K. 

As an owner, I am glad we purchased our LE2 - “XPLOR” in 2020. 

@topgun2 could you merge these posts please? It’s a duplicate.

 

 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka-  “XPLOR” 

2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor aka- Beast

 

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36 minutes ago, Patriot said:

Our local dealer Bumgarner Camping Center has (2) 2024 LE2’s listed for $106k marked down to $95K. 

So, here we go with "MSRP," "sale price," etc. One of the things I liked about our purchase experience was the fixed/no haggle price. I'd be interested to know which of those two prices matched the factory price for that trailer, if either. They can't have the factory charging less than the dealers and undercutting them. OTOH, I can't see the dealer charging less than the factory and still making an acceptable profit margin.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.b96241bad6752dec89d25af6ffbc8d99.jpg

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12 minutes ago, Steph and Dud B said:

So, here we go with "MSRP," "sale price," etc.

Unfortunately this situation is NOT the "fault" of either Oliver or the dealers involved - blame it if you wish on the bankers involved.

As is customary in the automobile industry, the RV industry, truck, farm implement, etc. industries all have a "problem" in how to finance the inventory they carry in order to have product to show customers in their showrooms.  So, the bankers step in to help.  The general rule of thumb is that the bankers will finance up to 80% of the MSRP for the dealers.  In turn, this is what caused most of the recent increase in the price of Olivers and the difference between the MSRP price and the "real" price out the door by any dealer (to include Oliver) will be somewhere between the MSRP and the price that Oliver would have sold the RV prior to using a dealer network.

This is absolutely nothing different than the situation of when we venture into a car/truck dealership looking to purchase a new vehicle.  Oliver has said that they intend to do whatever they can to make sure that there is little to no difference in the price paid by any customer regardless of where that customer decides to purchase the Oliver of their choice.  However, in the real world that is full of legalities I suspect that this will be a bit difficult to do.  Hopefully, the process of buying an Oliver will never become as distasteful a process as it normally is for buying a car/truck.  But, in any case, you can "blame" it (yet again) on the bankers - not Oliver or the dealers.

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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1 hour ago, Patriot said:

@topgun2 could you join these posts to here please? It’s a duplicate.

Consider it done!

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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45 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Hopefully, the process of buying an Oliver will never become as distasteful a process as it normally is for buying a car/truck. 

I can't see how this can be avoided. The dealers will have other manufacturers` RVs on their lots, too, and those RVs will have "RV Show" sale prices, "Summer Blowout" sale prices, "End of Year" sale prices, etc., etc. The customer will want the same kind of "deals" on the Oliver or they'll think they`re getting a better value on the "sale" units.

Pre-COVID the rule of thumb was never pay more than 70-80% of MSRP for any RV because we all knew the MSRP was wildly inflated. Fair enough, but those manufacturers weren't also trying to sell factory-direct at those stated MSRPs. This will be a challenge for OTT. Don`t some of the other fiberglass manufacturers (Bigfoot, Escape) have this mixed factory/dealer sales arrangement? How do they handle it? Are the trailers bought at the factory more expensive than the ones you can get at a dealer? 

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. 

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.b96241bad6752dec89d25af6ffbc8d99.jpg

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1 hour ago, Steph and Dud B said:

They can't have the factory charging less than the dealers and undercutting them. OTOH, I can't see the dealer charging less than the factory and still making an acceptable profit margin.

It is possible that the factory sells to the dealer at a wholesale price.  Both the dealer and the factory sell to us at a retail price.

 

It might be the factory policy to not haggle.  The new channel is called "dealers" for a reason. 

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2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

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1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

bankers will finance up to 80% of the MSRP for the dealers.

Do you know that Oliver is not carrying that 80%?

2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

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There is another side to this. Part of the dealer pricing game is driven by the customer desire to "work out a bargain deal". This is only a percentage of buyers, but we all know folks that like to brag about the deal they worked on XYZ. Dealers love this mentality also as they love to play the money game to make a buyer feel like they pulled one over on the dealer, and reeling them into to purchase. It's not all just about pulling the wool over on the customer, but also making them feel they are getting a bargain at that moment and locking in the sale. What I'm saying is there's a percentage of folks that prefer the haggle and wheel and deal process over the fixed price, no haggle method. And dealerships are just used to working this way. 

I think an interesting characteristic about this topic is that before the dealer option, Oliver sales attracted a certain kind of customer base that made us very relatable. We liked the direct factory purchase arrangement, and for many that was a driving force in our attraction to Oliver. We are the kind of folks that have no interest in the haggle game. We are straight shooters and we perceive Oliver as being very honest, straight shooters as well. Cost is important to us, but value of product and quality of customer experience is more important to us. Buyers that prefer the dealer purchase process and working their deal will choose that route for their own reasons. In many ways it is customer driven. 

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What's today?............. the most frequently asked question as a retiree 🙄

Chris and Stacie Neuhaus Greenfield, Indiana

2021 Ford F350 7.3L Tremor (Redzilla)

LE2 #1373 - Ordered 10/21/22 - Delivered 05/10/23

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6 minutes ago, Steph and Dud B said:

Pre-COVID the rule of thumb was never pay more than 70-80% of MSRP for any RV because we all knew the MSRP was wildly inflated.

Amazing isn't it that the percentage is very close to the percentage "caused" by what is called "floor plan financing"?

My comment of blame it on the bankers was a bit tongue in cheek.  Without the bankers being involved we (the consumer) would certainly not have as many RV's on dealer's lots to look at and compare.

Yes, this does make things a bit more complicated - for ALL involved (the consumer, the dealer and Oliver).  But, if we (the consumer) want more and better service centers around the USA and Oliver wants more exposure for the purpose of sales, and Oliver wants to help us have more service centers, and dealers want more product to show to those that have never seen and Oliver and .....

I too reasonably enjoyed my purchasing experience back some 8 years ago.  But, I still wish Oliver well in at least trying to help satisfy both its customer base, potential customers and its need to grow.  As has been said before - hopefully this new way of selling Olivers will be a success.  Remember, as has been said before, a customer can still chose to purchase a new Oliver in Hohenwald and all of us can still chose to have our Olivers serviced in Hohenwald.

HDRider - I really don't know to what, if any degree, Oliver is participating in floor financing.  However, since Oliver never got into the business of financing for the individual customer and since financing is not related to any of their businesses, I doubt very seriously that they would get into the business of floor financing.  I think that this is particularly so given the vast array of "finance types" that are already offering these services.

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Hopefully, I’m not lighting another flame… but, I’d still like to see Oliver build their own maintenance (this is my concern) and sales center west of the Rocky Mountains.   To date, I’ve only found one dealer RV tech that I truly trust to perform the maintenance that I don’t feel confident of doing myself.

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50 minutes ago, Ollie-Haus said:

We are the kind of folks that have no interest in the haggle game.

Not me.  I am haggle man extraordinaire.  I simply saw Oliver as the best value.

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52 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

I really don't know to what, if any degree, Oliver is participating in floor financing. 

I worked at a manufacture that sold exclusively through dealers.  We carried floor inventory for the dealers.  Like a bank, we charged them for it.

 

We also did cooperative advertising that helped the dealer promote our product, and their sales. 

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10 minutes ago, Wandering Sagebrush said:

Hopefully, I’m not lighting another flame… but, I’d still like to see Oliver build their own maintenance (this is my concern) and sales center west of the Rocky Mountains.   To date, I’ve only found one dealer RV tech that I truly trust to perform the maintenance that I don’t feel confident of doing myself.

I just went through a nightmare using a third party to do Oliver warranty work.  No way will I do that again. 

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2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

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1 hour ago, Wandering Sagebrush said:

I’d still like to see Oliver build their own maintenance (this is my concern) and sales center west of the Rocky Mountains.  

That would be great, not just for those who live in the West, but also for those traveling there. I suppose it depends on the growth generated by the east coast dealers. I think Bigfoot and maybe Escape keep their dealers geographically close to their factories. Maybe logistics are easier that way?

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.b96241bad6752dec89d25af6ffbc8d99.jpg

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To my knowledge,  Escape is still factory direct only. Bigfoot has dealers (they call them "outlets" ) scattered all over the US, including Alaska, and most of the provinces bordering the US. (Nothing in Saskatchewan or Manitoba,  nor northern provinces and territories, probably because of smaller populations?)

Northern Lite has probably twice as many dealers, both in Canada and US. 

A few dealers west of the Rockies would be a big boon for Ollie owners, I'm sure. 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

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4 hours ago, topgun2 said:

This is absolutely nothing different than the situation of when we venture into a car/truck dealership looking to purchase a new vehicle. 

As a retired attorney, "I rest my case." 

We were attracted to the "old" Oliver business model precisely because we didn't have to have hours of our time wasted, and our patience sorely tried, by the "barracuda" dealer's efforts to extract every last penny of profit from the deal.  We did not dread the old Oliver purchase process, as we have every time we needed to buy a new vehicle.

We are glad we already have our Hull #1291.

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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

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3 hours ago, HDRider said:

Not me.  I am haggle man extraordinaire.  I simply saw Oliver as the best value.

...... which is exactly what I said in the following sentence. : "Cost is important to us, but value of product and quality of customer experience is more important to us."

It's all well and good to like haggling, but most of us chose the Oliver route knowing we would get our money's worth without the haggle, and we're glad for that, as indicated in the previous comment by @Rivernerd. I too am very glad I didn't have to go in to a dealership and haggle for a fair price and hope I was going to get treated in a respectable way. My only hope it that in the process of developing their dealerships, Oliver management puts a heavy emphasis on maintaining that level of honesty and respect for the customer. Honestly I have faith that's been the plan from the beginning.  I'm sure customer surveys will follow the purchase process after the dealer experience to help maintain that reputation.  

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What's today?............. the most frequently asked question as a retiree 🙄

Chris and Stacie Neuhaus Greenfield, Indiana

2021 Ford F350 7.3L Tremor (Redzilla)

LE2 #1373 - Ordered 10/21/22 - Delivered 05/10/23

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1 hour ago, Ollie-Haus said:

Honestly I have faith that's been the plan from the beginning.  I'm sure customer surveys will follow the purchase process after the dealer experience to help maintain that reputation.  

I absolutely agree with this.

And, I too wish that more people could get a chance to have the experience that we did when dealing with Oliver in Hohenwald in the "old" days.

Unfortunately, Oliver simply could not find any other way that made sense to try to satisfy all of the "demands" that were being made.  In this regard, when "we" were demanding better quality control, Oliver had to take steps that many of us didn't like and even some of us predicted doom.  What I'm talking about here is the move away from custom/semi-custom trailers to a more restricted list of options and choices without the ability for the customer to add on "stuff" that was not normally offered by Oliver.  As it turned out it appears as though there was reasonably little effect on sales due to this decision.  In the more recent past, "we" have been lamenting the lack of service centers (particularly in the west) and even some customers have made note that there were no "fairly easy" way to get to see an Oliver.  Yes, Oliver could have developed their own set of service centers but we must remember that Oliver is not some large far flung corporation.  Establishing and controlling these types of centers with renting buildings, adding inventory, training full and part time staff, etc. would be very costly.  So, Oliver decided to take the path that we are now talking about.  Our "cost" for this is the lament that others will (possibly) now not have the chance to have that same wonderful experience that we did.  Oliver has stated that it is their intent for those in Hohenwald and the chosen dealers to be up front with customers about pricing.  No, I do not know exactly what that means.  But, given now over eight years of dealing and getting to know the owners and personnel at Oliver I have faith that they will do (or at least try very hard to do) exactly what they say they are going to do.

Now, "I rest my case"!

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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8 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

I absolutely agree with this.

And, I too wish that more people could get a chance to have the experience that we did when dealing with Oliver in Hohenwald in the "old" days.

Unfortunately, Oliver simply could not find any other way that made sense to try to satisfy all of the "demands" that were being made.  In this regard, when "we" were demanding better quality control, Oliver had to take steps that many of us didn't like and even some of us predicted doom.  What I'm talking about here is the move away from custom/semi-custom trailers to a more restricted list of options and choices without the ability for the customer to add on "stuff" that was not normally offered by Oliver.  As it turned out it appears as though there was reasonably little effect on sales due to this decision.  In the more recent past, "we" have been lamenting the lack of service centers (particularly in the west) and even some customers have made note that there were no "fairly easy" way to get to see an Oliver.  Yes, Oliver could have developed their own set of service centers but we must remember that Oliver is not some large far flung corporation.  Establishing and controlling these types of centers with renting buildings, adding inventory, training full and part time staff, etc. would be very costly.  So, Oliver decided to take the path that we are now talking about.  Our "cost" for this is the lament that others will (possibly) now not have the chance to have that same wonderful experience that we did.  Oliver has stated that it is their intent for those in Hohenwald and the chosen dealers to be up front with customers about pricing.  No, I do not know exactly what that means.  But, given now over eight years of dealing and getting to know the owners and personnel at Oliver I have faith that they will do (or at least try very hard to do) exactly what they say they are going to do.

Now, "I rest my case"!

Bill

Love this. 

Growing pains are just that, but I know the folks that run Oliver will not change. Like you point out, they are actually responding to our demands in most of this. And they are doing what it takes to add strength and longevity to the company and brand. Down the road we'll have conversations around the camp fire about the old way and newer owners will tell about their experience. And life will go on. 

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What's today?............. the most frequently asked question as a retiree 🙄

Chris and Stacie Neuhaus Greenfield, Indiana

2021 Ford F350 7.3L Tremor (Redzilla)

LE2 #1373 - Ordered 10/21/22 - Delivered 05/10/23

States Visited Map

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